Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.
My oil furnace was given a 17 point tune-up by my oil company. When the tune-up was completed, I was given a receipt stating everything was good to go. Two days later the tank on the oil furnace burst causing large amount of water to spill on the basement floor and smoke as well as steam filled the basement, and this has now made my oil furnace inoperable. My question is can I get the oil company to compensate me some money towards a replacement and if so how can I go about that?
The first question you would need to resolve is whether the malfunction of the tank could have been detected during the tune up, or perhaps could have been caused by the tune up. If the malfunction could not have been detected by the servicer, it is unlikely that the servicer can be held liable for the damage. However, if the tune up actually caused the malfunction, the servicer would most likely be held accountable for the damage.
The second question you would need to resolve is whether the servicer disclaimed any damage for malfunctions. You should check your receipt to see if there is any language stating that the servicer will not be held liable for damage under certain conditions, or if it limits potential liability. You would then need to determine whether this situation is covered by that disclaimer. Even if it is covered, you may still be able to prevail in a claim if you can prove that the servicer was grossly negligent in his tune-up.
Your first option would probably be to attempt to resolve this issue directly through the company. Their customer service department may be able to address this issue quickly and satisfactorily. If that fails, you can file a claim against the company. Depending on how much you are asking for the company to compensate you, you may be able to file in small claims court, which is cheaper than regular court. You can hire an attorney, or you can file the claim pro se, or on your own. A local civil litigation attorney can look at your receipt and advice you as to your best options.